There has been much talk recently about future missions to Mars that will carry human crew members. It would be an incredible achievement to successfully (and safely) land a human being on the surface of another planet, but nothing has been done, let alone achieved.
With a steady stream of advances in AI technology and robotics It is not entirely out of the question that the first Mars resident is actually not a human but a machine. A curious Twitter user decided to ask Elon Musk what he thought about the first Martian being more of an intelligent machine than a human.
The brief exchange was fairly straightforward, with Musk being asked how he considers the chances for the first Martian to be more of an AI than a human. No one who wastes valuable tweet characters answered Musk with "30%".
Without an explanation of why he landed on this figure, we must ask ourselves what factors Musk weighed when weighing or whether he dares to do one thing. A blind guess, but it is important to note that there are many different forms who can accept a "Mars AI".
It can be anything from a self-sufficient rover-like robot to a static lander that performs experiments and makes observations without direct commands from its dealers. A machine with AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) or ASI (Artificial Super Intelligence) does not necessarily mean that it is a human-like robot.
Currently manned Mars missions are completely hypothetical. Companies like SpaceX and scientific institutions around the world have been working hard to develop technologies that allow people to move well beyond Earth's Moon, but we're probably a decade or more away from them. At this point, a crew of both humans and AI could be the best bet for success, but we just have to wait and see if they work.